Displaying items by tag: Cork Week
There are 240+ Vipers in the USA and Canada, 28 in Australia and newer fleets underway in UK, Europe, Bermuda and beyond.
In addition to the UK 2016 sailing programme, the Viper has a heatlhy international regatta programme planned for 2016. Last March, Afloat sailor of the year Anthony O'Leary of Royal Cork, sailing with Howth's Dan O'Grady and Cork clubmate Tom Durcan, competed at Miami race week in the Viper. The sole Irish trio's best individual result was a fourth which they achieved twice in races two and six of the nine race series.
Viper boats have previously competed in the UK Miami Bacardi Cup, Parkstone Regatta, Cork Week, Cowes Week and Torbay Week. In 2015, the locally based Viper at Falmouth won the Keelboat IRC Falmouth Regatta outright after three days of very strong winds in Falmouth Bay.
A UK 2016 sailing programme has been announced and there is an international regatta programme planned for 2016 too.
Following extensive trials in the USA, the Gulf Yachting Association (a group of 20 plus US Gulf-based clubs) have chosen the Viper 640 as their new club boat for the future, replacing the previous "Flying Scot". This, together with a very active US sailing programme, has increased demand for the boat throughout the USA and Rondar are now in full production.
Things are on the move again. There’s a buzz in the air. W M Nixon anticipates the sailing possibilities for 2016 in a fixtures list so diverse that he reckons that anyone who thinks they know everything that’s going on clearly doesn’t.
If you want anything done, then ask a busy man to do it. And the busier people are ashore, the keener they are to get afloat when they can. There was nothing more sluggish than the sailing and boating scene during the recession years. There was less zest for going sailing when you’d all the time in the world to do it because there was nothing to do ashore. And anyway, as a vehicle sport, sailing was a very identifiable expense which could be reduced or even discarded as the recession rumbled on.
Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that. Anyone with businesses to run knew they’d to keep a very close eye on things all the time if they were to survive at all. Thus we became experts at the short sailing break. The four day regatta became all the rage, and even if the good times roll again as never before, it seems likely the four day regatta is going to stay popular.
It’s indicative of amazingly changed times. Today, it’s beyond imagination to realise that at the height of Scotland’s industrial pomp around Glasgow for eighty years into the 1960s, there used to be a Clyde Fortnight. Two whole weeks of sailing on the trot. Except for Sundays of course, when the church services became yachting events. But even with that spiritual input, it was conspicuous consumption gone mad to be able to show you’d the resources and free time to go off yacht racing for a clear fortnight, knowing your employees – or rather, your inherited company’s employees – would keep those profits and dividends rolling in while you swanned about on the bonnie waters of the Firth.
It took special stamina, too. But times and tastes have changed in any case. There are so many other sports, entertainments and interests vying for our attention these days that sailing has to keep re-inventing itself to make its mark. Yet beneath it all there’s still that elementally simple appeal so eloquently expressed by the folksy Floridian Clark Mills, who in 1947 created the Optimist dinghy:
“A boat, by God, it’s just a gleamin’ beautiful creation. And when you pull the sail up on a boat, you’ve got a little bit of really somethin’ God-given. Man, it goes bleetin’ off like a bird’s wing, you know, and there’s nothin’ else like it”.
It’s still as simple as that. So apart from the usual frostbite races and leagues, it’s more than appropriate that the first major sailing event in Ireland in 2016 is the legendary Optimist Training Week at Baltimore during the half term break in February. Yes folks, February. For sure, we know that in the old Irish calendar, February 1st is St Brigid’s Day, and officially the first day of Spring. But for many sailors, St Patrick’s Day on March 17th is about as early as we want to get. And for most of us, Easter is quite soon enough, thank you.
A harvest of Optys – Optimists racing at the Cork Dinghyfest 2015 in conditions rather different from those they’ll be expecting at Baltimore in February. Photo: Robert Bateman
Nevertheless we salute the keen Opty kids who in February drag their families along with them down to Baltimore – even unto the family dog – in a caravanserai which tells us much about Irish sailing. But what we also know is that Irish sailing is universal, and from times past we’re well aware that our new season is reckoned to start with the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race on December 26th in the dying days of the old year. So the up-coming dash to Hobart is when our new year begins, and back in December 2012 when Gordon Maguire won it overall - his second overall win in this great Australian annual classic - he was undisputed Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” for January 2013.
As we’re on the cruiser-racer theme, we’ll stay with it for now through to the August fixtures, and anyone totally into dinghies and nothing else is invited to scroll down a dozen paragraphs to where we emerge from the world of truck-racing for a consideration of the Olympics, the inshore racing classes, and the dinghies.
But for now staying with cruiser-racers, in recent months Gordon Maguire has been making the Mediterranean scene with success aboard the Mark Mills-designed Max 72 Caol Ila (ex-Alegre), but as the Australian season currently swings back into top gear, he’s in the Matt Allen camp aboard the Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban. However, another Irish line of interest continues with Wicklow-based designer Mark Mills, whose newest 45ft footer Concubine – fresh built in Dubai – is going to an Adelaide owner who will have her at optimum trim for her first big outing in the Hobart race.
Flying machine. The new Mark Mills-designed 45ft Concubine arrives in Australia on November 22nd
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the Optimists gearing up for their February Sailfest in Baltimore, things at home really start on Friday February 4th when the Irish sailing focus closes in on the august yet friendly premises of the Royal College of Surgeons on Stephens Green in the heart of Dublin for the annual ISA/Afloat.ie National Sailing Awards. Sailors of the Month, Sailor of the Year, Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year and many other well-earned awards will be swept through in a festival of mutual congratulation and camaraderie which perfectly captures the spirit of a sport which has a longer history in Ireland than anywhere else.
Can they do it again? The Royal Cork Yacht Club – with Marine Minister Simon Coveney – at the ISA/Afloat.ie Sailing Awards 2014 ceremony in the RCSI in Dublin on Friday 6th March 2015, when they swept the board and took the Mitsubishi Motors “Club of the Year” award for good measure. The 2015 awards will be presented at the same venue on Friday, February 4th 2016.
University sailing also comes top of the bill in the Springtime, with the Irish championship seeing titleholders UCD defend a position which also saw them representing Ireland at the Student Yachting Worlds in France in October, when they placed third overall. It sounds reasonable enough, but Ireland has won the Worlds a couple of times in the recent past, so there’s work to be done here.
Another area where work is being done is in the growing interest for Under 25 Squads in doing great things with revitalised J/24s. Cillian Dickson of Howth led his Under 25 group to success both in J/24 and open racing in 2015 with the J/24 Kilcullen, and the word is that 2016 will see at least three similar teams making the scene at national and local events.
But for boats with a lid, the top item on the agenda has to be the fact that this is a biennial Commodores’ Cup year, and we’re the defenders. In 2014, thanks to the single-minded determination of Anthony O’Leary, a competitive three boat team was somehow assembled from some very disparate parts, and the title - won in 2010 but undefended in 2012 in the depths of the recession - was re-taken in very positive style after a week of ferocious racing in late July in the Solent.
Ireland nicely placed at the start of the Round the Island Race in the Commodore’s Cup 2014, with two British boats neatly sandwiched between Catapult (red hull) and Antix (silver hull). Catapult is now Antix, while the former Antix has been sold to Sweden.
The RORC Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup 2016 will be raced from Cowes from 23rd to 30th July 2016, and far from having to scrape around to assemble a team, the word is that ICRA may be mounting a two team defence/challenge on our behalf, as the RORC event has seen the rating band lowered to 1,000 to make it attractive to boats like J/109s. These super boats are finally taking off in Ireland as a premier class. It has taken some time, but as we’ve been saying for years, the J/109 might have been designed with the Irish context in mind, and they’re going to be a major part of our sailing for many years to come.
They might have been designed precisely with Irish requirements in mind…….the J/109 class is finally beginning to take off at all main centres.
Through the season, cruiser-racer events swing into action at every level, both at home and nearby abroad, with the RORC Easter Challenge in the Solent (Antix defending for Ireland here), the Silver’s Marine Scottish Series at Tarbert from May 27-30 (Rob McConnell’s A35 Fool’s Gold from Dunmore East is the defender) and then the big home one, the ICRA Nats at Howth from June 10th to 12th, staged just a week after Howth’s at-home major, the Lambay Races on June 4th.
ICRA racing at its best – Liam Burke’s Corby 25 Tribal from Galway making knots at Kinsale in the ICRA Nats 2015. The ICRA Nats 2016 are at Howth from June 10th to 12th. Photo: ICRA
Meanwhile the re-vitalised ISORA programme (defending champion is Shanahan family’s J/109 Ruth from the National YC) will have swung into action in the Irish Sea with a stated commitment to impinge adversely as little as possible – if at all – on long-established events, but for serious old salts the real story in June will be the countdown to the Volvo Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on Saturday June 18th.
Volvo Cars Ireland are in for the long haul on this one. So their first outing with the classic biennial circuit will be run fairly conservatively in the knowledge that legislation is going through the Dail to re-organise the administration of Wicklow Harbour (among other ports). Thus it’s on the cards that in the future, Wicklow Sailing Club and their supportive new sponsor will find they have a harbour much-improved to host visiting boats. But for 2016, the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire will be providing support berths for larger craft, as too will Greystones Marina in between.
International participation in the biennial Round Ireland Race – Piet Vroon’s famous Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens making away from the Wicklow starting line on a perect summer’s day. In 2016, Volvo Cars Ireland will be starting a longterm sponsorship of the race.
But even with the current facilities, it’s going to be quite a happening with serious multi-hulls involved for the first time, and Grand Prix racers of the calibre of George David’s Rambler 88 stepping up to the plate, while in the body of the fleet the Shanahan’s Ruth has unfinished business – in 2014 they missed the win by seven minutes to Richard Harris’s Tanit from Scotland.
Until this late-June stage of the season, the south coast will have been fairly quiet in terms of events with an international flavour, but all that changes between 10th and 15th July when the Royal Cork’s Volvo Cork Week swings into action with the added interest (to put it mildly) of the IRC European Championship. This completely new event – a joint venture between the RORC and the RCYC – is still at the developmental stage, but with some far-thinking organisers behind it such as Anthony O’Leary of Royal Cork and Michael Boyd of RORC, it has all the makings of something very special indeed, and will blend in well with July’s expanding European programme as teams work on their performance with the Commodores’ Cup at the end of July providing the Grand Finale.
But of course not everyone seeks the international limelight. There are plenty of local events to keep cruiser-racers busy, and the WIORA Championship 2016 will be from June 29th to July 02nd, hosted by the very venerable Royal Western of Ireland Yacht at Kilrush, which is itself a place re-born since the marina and harbour were taken over by leading harbour engineers L & M Keating.
Inevitably with the August Bank Holiday Monday being precisely on August 1st, traditional events in 2016 will find themselves being compressed into that first week of August, but if you were really keen it might be just be possible to finish the WIORA at Kilrush and then hare round to Schull for Calves Week from Tuesday August 2nd to Friday August 5th, but there are probably too many temptations on the way as you progress along Ireland’s top cruising coast.
However, if you’re not into total relax mode by the time August arrives, then there’s the Olympics in Rio to gather you up in its crazy five ring circus with the sailing events in a continuous tapestry from 5th August 21st August. The Irish challenge for the 2016 Olympiad is still in something of a state of flux as three places have been secured with other possibilities, but the whole thing is total melting-pot stuff, so it’s too early yet to make predictions.
But you don’t have to look to Rio for stellar performance in 2016 as we’ve top level dinghy racing coming to Ireland with the Laser Radial Youth World Championship being hosted in a joint venture by Dun Laoghaire Harbour and the Royal St George YC from Saturday July 23rd to Saturday July 30th, yet another event which has relevance in a different context as the administration of Dun Laoghaire Harbour could well be in a new context in the near future.
Any overview of the dinghy and inshore keelboat scene soon reminds you of the exasperation some observers feel at a global sport which boasts something like 143 recognised World Championships in its annual international programme. And that’s only counting World Championships. Add in Europeans, and numbers increase exponentially, but we have a Europeans in Ireland in 2016 with the Mirrors gathering from 7th to 12th August for racing with one of the most interesting little boats afloat at the RCYC in Crosshaven.
Yet another new boat design. But the new Phil Morrison-designed National 18 has been making a very good impression in Cork Harbour. Photo: Robert Bateman
For their owners, all boats are interesting - that’s the way it is with boats. Indeed, for many participants, it’s not so much the sport as the vehicles themselves which are the raison d’etre of the whole business. And thus we find that in Ireland as elsewhere, traditional, classic and vintage boats are moving ever higher up the agenda with each season’s programme-making.
It could be argued that there’s nowhere better in the world to find such intriguing and individual boats playing an accepted and natural role in the sailing scene than in the Greater Dublin region. 2016 may also be witnessing the centenary of the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution. But despite the turmoil of a hundred years ago, we’re basically a very settled and civilised society, and when we find a boat type we like, we tend to stay with her. And equally as a reasonable society we will happily accept the restrictions of one design racing in order to provide affordable sport.
Thus around Dublin we can find the Water Wags whose class organisation dates back to 1886, even if the boats themselves are the new-fangled version from around 1902 or thereabouts. Equally part of the scene are the Howth 17s, undiluted since 1898. And even boats which we think of as new – such as the International Dragons – are now vintage and some of their best racing in 2016 will be in Glandore where the presiding genius is Don Street and Gypsy, numbering 167 years between them, though it’s rude to ask which way the division falls.
Back to her birthplace. Ian Malcolm’s Howth 17 Aura at Carrickfergus, where she was built by John Hilditch in 1898. Several vintage Hilditch-built boats plan to join the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Carrickfergus Sailing Club and the Royal Ulster yacht Club on Belfast Lough next June. Photo: Damian Cronin
Part of the traditional and classic boat scene in Dublin is the annual Leinster Trophy Race of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association at the June Bank Holiday, and newly-elected DBOGA President denis Aylmer with his Cornish Crabber Mona is defending champion. But this year the classic focus shifts to Belfast Lough at the end of June, as both Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Royal Ulster Yacht Club are celebrating their 150th Anniveraries.
They’ll have many separate events, but as Carrickfergus was also the location of the famous Hilditch boat-building yard where many famous wooden one designs were built between 1892 and 1914, there’ll be a Hilditch Regatta at Carrickfergus morphing into a RUYC Classic Yacht Festival across Belfast Lough at Bangor between Wednesday June 22nd and Monday June 27th, with vintage fleets eligible including Strangford Lough Rivers, the Glens, Howth 17s, Belfast Lough Waverleys, Ballyholme Bays and indeed any classics willing to travel such as Water Wags and vintage Dragons.
Senior Hilditch boat. The Mylne-designed Belfast Lough Island Class yawl Trasnagh, seen here under her new Bermudan rig in 1933, is expected to join the 150th Anniversary celebrations in Belfast Lough in the summer of 2016. Photo courtesy RNIYC
As she was, so she is again. Tern – seen here in 1898 – has been so faithfully restored in 2015 that she even has replicated the inverted 2 for her sail number 7. They couldn’t find a 7 in the sailmakers loft when the boats were being commissioned in a hurry in May 1897. Photo courtesy RUYC
There may even be an appearance by two of the Hilditch daddies of them all, the Fife-designed Belfast Lough Class I 25ft LWL OD Tern of 1897 vintage which has re-emerged in the Mediterranean so effectively restored that she won her class at Les Voiles de St Tropez in September 2015, and the Mylne-designed 39ft LOA Island Class yawl Trasnagh, built in 1913 to join her sisters at Cultra anchorage to make up a fleet of the worlds first true cruiser-racer one designs.
At the other end of the size scale, one of the best new events of 2015 was the Dinghyfest at Royal Cork in August, which was such a success straight out of the box that they’re going to run it again in 2016 on much the same format, and the word is that classes are already queuing to take part in something which could well be a very welcome distraction from Olympic angst.
MAIN 2016 SAILING EVENTS OF IRISH INTEREST
February 4th ISA/Afloat.ie Annual Awards RCSI, Dublin
May 27th to 30th Silver’s Scottish Series Tarbert, Loch Fyne
June 10th to 12th ICRA Nats Howth
June 18th Volvo Round Ireland Race Wicklow
June 22nd to 27th Belfast Lough Classics Carrickfergus & Bangor
July 10th to 15th Volvo Cork Week & IRC Europeans Royal Cork YC
July 23rd to 30th Laser Youth Radial Worlds RStGYC
July 23rd to 30th Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup Cowes
August 5th to 21st Sailing Olympics 2016 Rio de Janeiro
August 7th to 12th Mirror Europeans Royal Cork YC
October 1st to 2nd All-Ireland Helmsman’s Championship
October Student Yachting World Cup France
October 22nd Rolex Middle Sea Race Malta
2016 ISA FIXTURE LIST
|06/02/16||07/02/16||IUSA Westerns||Fireflies||Killaloe SC|
|26/03/16||27/03/16||Munster Championships||Laser||Baltimore Sailing Club|
|10/04/16||10/04/16||Traveller 1||Topper||East Down YC|
|23/04/16||24/04/16||Mirror Westerns||Mirror||Sligo YC|
|23/04/16||24/04/16||Ulster Championships||Laser||Coounty Antrim Yacht Club|
|23/04/16||24/04/16||RS400 Easterns||RS||Royal St George YC|
|23/04/16||24/04/16||RS200 Easterns||RS||Royal St George YC|
|24/04/16||24/04/16||Traveller 2||Topper||Lough Derg YC|
|08/05/16||08/05/16||Traveller 3||Topper||Wexford Harbour B&TC|
|14/05/16||16/05/16||Leinster Optimist Championships||Optimist||Royal St George YC|
|14/05/16||15/05/16||Optimist Leinsters||Optimist||Royal St George YC|
|21/05/16||22/05/16||Ulster Championships||Topper||Donaghadee SC|
|21/05/16||22/05/16||GP14 OT & Purcell||GP14||Swords Sailing & BC|
|21/05/16||22/05/16||J/24 Northerrns||J/24||Sligo YC|
|21/05/16||22/05/16||RS400 Northerns||RS||Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club|
|27/05/16||29/05/16||Sportsboat Cup 2016||Various||Howth YC|
|27/05/16||29/05/16||Dragon East Coast Championship||Dragon||Royal Irish YC|
|28/05/16||29/05/16||Squib Northern Championship||Squib||Killyleagh SC|
|04/06/16||04/06/16||Lambay Races 2016||All Classes||Howth YC|
|10/06/16||12/06/16||ICRA National Championships 2016||Cruisers||Howth YC|
|10/06/16||12/06/16||Wayfarer National Championship||Wayfarer||Ramor Watersports Club|
|11/06/16||12/06/16||Optimist Connaughts||Optimist||Foynes YC|
|18/06/16||Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race||Cruisers||Wicklow SC|
|18/06/16||18/06/16||Royal Alfred Bloomsday Regatta||All Classes||National YC|
|18/06/16||19/06/16||Leinster Championships||Topper||Skerries SC|
|25/06/16||26/06/16||GP14 Ulsters||GP14||East Down YC|
|25/06/16||26/06/16||RS400 Westerns||RS||Sligo YC|
|25/06/16||26/06/16||RS200 Westerns||RS||Sligo YC|
|01/07/16||01/07/16||Optimist VP Team Racing Cup||Optimist||Malahide YC|
|01/07/16||03/07/16||White Sails and Non Spinnaker Team Challenge||Cruisers||Royal St George YC|
|01/07/16||03/07/16||Dingy West 2016 - Sailing the Wild Atlantic||All Dinghies||Galway Bay Sailing Club|
|02/07/16||03/07/16||Connaught Championships||Laser||Lough Derg YC|
|02/07/16||03/07/16||Optimist Ulsters||Optimist||Malahide YC|
|02/07/16||03/07/16||J/24 Southerns||J/24||Royal Cork YC|
|02/07/16||03/07/16||Fireball Leinsters||Fireball||Wexford Harbour B&TC|
|02/07/16||04/07/16||Irish Nationals||Topper||Royal Cork YC|
|10/07/16||15/07/16||Volvo Cork Week & IRC European Championships||Various||Royal Cork YC|
|15/07/16||17/07/16||Ruffian 23 National Championship||Ruffian 23||Dun Laoghaire MYC|
|16/07/16||17/07/16||Optimist Crosbie Cup||Optimist||Lough Ree YC|
|16/07/16||17/07/16||Leinster Championships||Laser||National YC|
|17/07/16||17/07/16||Traveller 4||Topper||Carrickfergus SC|
|22/07/16||24/07/16||Mirror National Championships||Mirror||Sutton Dinghy Club|
|23/07/16||30/07/16||Laser Radial World Championships (Men's & Youth's)||Laser||Royal St George YC|
|23/07/16||24/07/16||GP14 Leinsters||GP14||Sutton Dinghy Club|
|23/07/16||24/07/16||RS400 Southerns||RS||Lough Ree YC|
|23/07/16||24/07/16||RS200 Southerns||RS||Lough Ree YC|
|23/07/16||29/07/16||World Championships||Topper||Ballyholme YC|
|29/06/16||02/07/16||WIORA 2016||Cruisers||Royal Western YC|
|30/07/16||01/08/16||Arklow Maritime Festival||All Classes||Arklow SC|
|06/08/16||07/08/16||J/24 Westerns||J/24||Lough Ree YC|
|07/08/16||07/08/16||Sutton Dinghy Regatta||All Classes||Sutton Dinghy Club|
|07/08/16||12/08/16||Mirror Europeans 2016||Mirror||Royal Cork YC|
|09/08/16||11/08/16||420 Nationals||420||Howth YC|
|12/08/16||13/08/16||Sailability President's Cup||Various||Kinsale YC|
|12/08/16||14/08/16||Fireball Nationals||Fireball||Howth YC|
|15/08/16||19/08/16||Optimist Irish Nationals||Optimist||Lough Derg YC|
|19/08/16||21/08/16||Squib Irish National Championship||Squib||Kinsale YC|
|20/08/16||23/08/16||National Championships||Laser||Galway Bay Sailing Club|
|26/08/16||28/08/16||RS400 Irish Nationals||RS||Schull Harbour SC|
|26/08/16||28/08/16||RS400 Irish Nationals||RS||Schull Harbour SC|
|27/08/16||29/08/16||GP14 Irish & Masters||GP14||Skerries SC|
|27/08/16||28/08/16||Munster Championships||Topper||Kinsale YC|
|27/08/16||28/08/16||Mirror Northerns||Mirror||Royal North Of Ireland YC|
|27/08/16||28/08/16||Topper Munster Championship||Topper||Kinsale YC|
|28/08/16||28/08/16||Taste of Greystones Cruiser Regatta||Cruisers||Greystones SC|
|31/08/16||04/09/16||Dragon Irish Championship||Dragon||Kinsale YC|
|02/09/16||04/09/16||J/24 Nationals||J/24||Royal St George YC|
|03/09/16||04/09/16||Wayfarer Inland Championship||Wayfarer||Callaun SC|
|10/09/16||11/09/16||Optimist Munsters||Optimist||Royal Cork YC|
|10/09/16||11/09/16||Fireball Munsters||Fireball||Killaloe SC|
|11/09/16||11/09/16||Traveller 5||Topper||Killyleagh SC|
|17/09/16||18/09/16||All Ireland Inter-Schools Championship||All Classes||Sutton Dinghy Club|
|24/09/16||25/09/16||GP14 Autumn & Youth||GP14||Sligo YC|
|24/09/16||25/09/16||ISA All Ireland Youth Championships||TBC||TBC|
|01/10/16||02/10/16||ISA All Ireland Senior Championships||J80||TBC|
|15/10/16||16/10/16||Squib Inland Championship/Freshwater Regatta||Squib||Lough Derg YC|
The new event in the RORC Calendar will be hosted by the Crosshaven club, in the sailing grounds of Cork Harbour and the Atlantic Approaches.
The first edition of the RORC IRC National Championship took place in 2000, and has done so every year since. There are now seven IRC National Championships throughout the world, but up until now, there has been no continental event.
"When the Royal Ocean Racing Club was approached by the Royal Cork Yacht Club to host the first IRC European Championship, our response was positive and immediate. We are now working together to finalise the details”, commented Michael Boyd, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. “The IRC European Championship will be an event in itself, based on the platform of Volvo Cork Week, which is a long-established and well-organised IRC regatta. The timing of the IRC European Championship, in the middle of July, works well in relation to the RORC IRC National Championship in the Solent in June and as a precursor to the Brewin Dolphin Commodore's Cup between 23-30 July. The intention is for the IRC European Championship to be held at a different European location annually.”
"Royal Cork Yacht Club is honoured to be chosen to host the prestigious Royal Ocean Racing Club's inaugural IRC European Championships, during Volvo Cork Week 2016. This is a great honour for Irish sailing, and the fact that Ireland has been selected as the host nation for the first ever IRC European Championship, will guarantee support from IRC boats from all over Ireland as well as overseas.” commented Kieran O Connell, Chairman of Volvo Cork Week. “It is also a great reflection on the Race Management here at Volvo Cork Week, and shows the confidence that RORC have in The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s ability to manage an event of this scale. On the racing front, Volvo Cork Week 2016 will not disappoint, with plans already well underway to host a championship that will both meet and surpass the requirements of this unique world class event both on and off the water. We welcome all in advance”.
#irishsailingreview – 2014 has been the year in which Irish sailing regained its international confidence afloat by re-capturing the Commodore's Cup. Having won it in 2010, the national economic collapse prevented any defence in 2012, but in July 2014 the stain and shame of 2012's non-appearance was emphatically wiped from memory with a convincing team victory led by Anthony O'Leary.
Ashore meanwhile, it had taken longer in some quarters for the economic realities to become fully evident and accepted. But for the Irish Sailing Association, a grassroots revolution within the national authority and sailing in general in 2014 resulted in a root-and-branch analysis of the workings of the Association, which had been heading towards financial disaster through a combination of over-staffing, grandiose schemes of expansion and empire-building, and an emphasis on activities and programmes which were remote from the needs of ordinary sailors throughout Ireland.
It took six months to turn round the course of the Association. But on November 5th 2014 the new ISA President, David Lovegrove, was able to announce a far-reaching re-structuring which is already resulting in a leaner and fitter body, better able to provide a realistic service for clubs and the huge diversity of recreational activity on Ireland's seas and lakes.
While all this high profile activity and action has been taking place at international and national level, those Irish sailors who had managed to keep up their sport through the financial downturn – albeit in often very reduced circumstances – continued to sail their boats with the attitude that, while the economic situation was disastrous, it mustn't be allowed to become serious, and in some ways the best course out of the recession was to sail through it. W M Nixon casts an eye over the year's main activities.
In the Irish sailing year, Christmas Day is New Year's Eve. Next morning, on December 26th – St Stephen's Day or Boxing Day or whatever you're having yourself – the annual 628-mile Sydney-Hobart Race starts. It may be on the other side of the world, and it may still be in the very last days of the old year. But Irish interest at home and in Irish-Australia is always high, and in the sailing community it's seen as the start of the new season.
December 26th 2013 was in line with this, as we'd ex-Pat superstar Gordon Maguire – a previous Hobart race overall winner – very much in contention with Matt Allen's totally new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban, we also had Sean McCarter of Lough Swilly YC skippering Derry/Londonderry in the warmly-welcomed Clipper Fleet of 70-footers designed by Tony Castro (formerly of Crosshaven) which were taking in the Hobart race as part of their global circumnavigating race, and we'd Barry Hurley and Kenny Rumball on the First 40 Breakthrough knowing that in the 2010 Hobart race, the new design's race debut, First 40s had taken first and second overall.
In a rugged race in which the wind got up to gale force and more towards the end, it was a much-loved hundred footer, Bob Oatley's continually-modified Wild Oats XI, which stole all the headlines with line honours, a course record, and a class win. Irish hopes were best met by Sean McCarter, who logged a very clear win in the Clippers. As for Ichi Ban, while she was third in IRC Div 1 and 8th overall, it wasn't quite a stellar performance, reinforcing the views of those of us who think the boat may be just a little too plump by today's lean and hungry standards. And aboard Breakthrough, they'd 8th in class and 29th overall, a useful performance perhaps, but Barry Hurley will be back on December 26th 2014, boosted by his first in class and second overall in October's Middle Sea Race.
Matt Allen's Ichi Ban in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race of 2013, with Gordon Maguire as sailing master. To some observers, the very new Carkeek 60 seemed distinctly plump in her hull form forward compared to her closest competitors
In late January 2014, attention focused on the Quantum Key West Regatta in the Florida Keys, where Irish Olympic sailor Peter O'Leary of Cork was on the strength of New York art dealer Marc Glimcher's completely new and very potent looking Ker 40 Catapult. The boat did the business afloat in Florida, but further business was done ashore, as Anthony O'Leary himself was in Key West to see if he could sign up Catapult to be the secret ingredient in Ireland's Commodore's Cup team, for which at that stage the only certainty was his own older Ker 39 Antix. There seemed to be agreement, but in the volatile world of international trading and snap decisions in which top modern sailing operates, there can be sudden reversals of fortune, and O'Leary later admitted that until Catapult was actually unloaded from a ship in Europe, he hadn't been a hundred per cent certain she'd show.
Key West had further Irish interest in that veteran skipper Piet Vroon's Ker 46 Tonnere de Breskens – a former Round Ireland Race winner – was another star in the show, but much was to happen in Irish sailing before the Round Ireland 2014 got under way in Wicklow on June 28th.
With March slowly showing signs of Spring, university racing came centre stage, and it was University College Dublin which came through on top to qualify as Ireland's representatives in the Student Yachting Worlds in France in October, the team led by Philip Doran.
Another team was emerging as the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) announced that our Commodore's Cup squad would be Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix, Marc Glimcher's Catapult, and the Grand Soleil 43 Quokka chartered by Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling, with Anthony O'Leary as team captain. He in turn would be supported by the shore management team, for a very intense week of racing, of Barry Rose and Fintan Cairns, with Mike Broughton in what would prove to be the particularly onerous task of Team Meteorologist.
As 2014 was exactly midway between two Olympiads, top level international dinghy sailing to Olympic standards might have been expected to be on the back burner. But Ireland's Olympians were very much on track on the international scene, and busy with their own programmes which culminated in the ISAF Worlds in Santander where Olympic places in Rio de Janeiro for 2016 were secured by James Espey in the Laser, Ryan Seaton & Matt McGovern in the 49er, and Annalise Murphy in the Women's Laser Radial. All were of course also seen in other boat types from time to time, with Annalise in particular bringing some glamour to the growing class of foiling Moths in Ireland.
Annalise on the foiling Moth
Other top international women sailors had descended on Ireland in early June with the ISAF Women's Match Race Worlds at Crosshaven. It's very much a specialist sailing interest, but aspiring Irish woman sailors attracted to this discipline found that this successful regatta provided some very useful networking contacts and future crewing possibilities, while the racing itself saw Sweden's Anna Kjellberg of the Royal Gothenburg YC become the new champion after defeating Camilla Ulrikkeholm of Denmark in the final.
In an entirely different area of sailing and life afloat, the traditional boat scene had come early to life with the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival at the end of May. In the Irish climate after a particularly damp Spring, it reflected great credit on those involved that there was such a good turnout, ranging from the Shannon Gandelows from Limerick recently returned from their historic visit to Venice, through the many restored classic yachts of the region, also including the lovely Shannon cutter Sally O'Keeffe from Kilrush, and going on into the restored traditional mackerel and lobster yawls which make West Cork their home.
Shortly after their historic visit to Venice, the Shannon gandelows built by the Ilen School took part in the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival at the end of May. The gandelow here, rowed by Liam O'Donghue, Anthony Kenny and Robert Samlle, is headed across Baltimore Harbour towards the gaff ketch Sile a Do.
The pride of the Shannon Estuary - Sally O'Keeffe was built in a community effort in Querrin on the Loop Head peninsula.
The traditional lobster boat Saoirse Muireann (left, Cormac Levis) and the mackerel yawl An tiscaire (Uilliam O'Lorcain) are a familiar sight in the waters of West Cork. Photo: Brian Marten
They were to re-appear in even greater numbers at the Ballydehob Gathering of the Boats in early August, a month during which the classic Galway Hookers of the West Coast were at their busiest on their home Atlantic waters, but the East Coast also had its moments with the Riverfest in Dublin's Liffey in early June seeing traditional and classic craft in a lively mix.
Sails in the City – two of the 1898 Howth Seventeens racing in the heart of Dublin in the Liffey Riverfest. Photo: W M Nixon
It could almost be Connemara, were it not for the Puppeteer 22s – the Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in the new Classics & Traditional Division in Howth's annual Lambay Race, which was marking its 110th anniversary in 2014. Photo: W M Nixon
Indeed, so strong is the growing interest in classics and trads on the East Coast that to celebrate the centenary of the Lynch family's Howth 17 Echo (one of the newest of the class, the most senior ones were built in 1898) Howth YC provided a traditional Lambay Race course – simply up around Lambay and back to Howth Harbour – for the Seventeens and a new Classics Division, with the Howth 17s seeing the first two places taken by 1898 boats – Rita (John Curley & Marcus Lynch) and Aura (Ian Malcolm) – while Old Gaffers Association International president Sean Walsh won the classics with his Heard 28 Tir na nOg from the Clondalkin team's Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan. As for the overall prize among the large fleet of more modern boats sailing their more complex course, that was won by Colm Bermingham's Bite the Bullet.
The countdown to the Commodore's Cup had continued with inspirational performances by Anthony O'Leary in the Easter Challenge in the Solent, where he won his class with Antix, and then in June he did the same again with the British IRC Championship. Back home, ICRA held their Nationals with the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire in mid-June, and out of a fleet of a hundred plus boats it was the vintage Marcus Hutchinson/Rob Humphreys designed Quarter Tonner Quest (Jonathan Skerritt, RIYC) which was best overall scorer, a notably impressive performance also being put in by the Ker 36 Jump Juice (Denise Phelan) from Crosshaven.
The 27-year-old Quarter Tonner Quest (Jonathan Skerritt) was overall winner in the ICRA Nats at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: David O'Brien
Downhill battle at the ICRA Nats with the Mills 36 Raptor (ex-Aztec) in foreground, while beyond is Peter Dunlop of Pwllheli's J/109 Mojito against the XP33 Bon Exemple (Colin Byrne, RIYC). Photo: Davd O'Brien
The Ker 36 Jump Juice (Denise Phelan) dominated Class 0 at the ICRA Nats. Photo: David O'Brien
The end of June, and it was Round Ireland time. Thirty-six boats started from Wicklow, 33 finished in a race which was mostly on the slow side, with mid-size boats having their day. The winner was Richard Harris's Sydney 36 Tanit from Scotland by just six minutes from the home favourite, Liam Shanahan's J/109 Ruth from the NYC in Dun Laoghaire. The French defending champion, Laurent Gouy's Ker 39 Inis Mor which sails in Ireland under the burgee of Clifden Boat Club, placed third while Frank Doyle of Cork, second generation round Ireland aristocracy as son of Denis of Moonduster fame, was fourth with his A35 Endgame.
The start of the Round Ireland Race 2014 well illustrates the eclectic nature of the fleet. In right foreground is Richard Harris's Sydney 36 Tanit which was overall winner by just six minutes from the J/109 Ruth (Liam Shanahan), just beyond with the black jib, while the Volvo 70 Monster Project (David Ryan) comes thundering through the fleet at the beginning of a performance whch would see her take line honours win and thd class win in the CK Div.. Photo: Kevin Tracey
The same weekend as the Round Ireland race started, Lough Foyle sent the Clipper Fleet on their way after a week's festivities in Derry/Londonderry, made even more festive by the fact that Sean McCarter and his crew with the home town's boat had crowned their win in the Sydney-Hobart race with victory in the Transatlantic leg to Derry.
Clipper fleet in Derry
Crosshaven fairly leaped to life with Cork Week in July, and after several hitches in various boat-shipping plans, it was notable as the first time the Irish Commodore's Cup Team 2014 were seen together, and mighty impressive they looked too, with Quokka proving best on the Cork Week leaderboard.
Michael Boyd (centre behind cup) and his Quokka crew, a member of Ireland's Commodore's Cup team, were overall winners of Cork week 2014. Photo: Bob Bateman
In the F18 Worlds at Ballyholme, Dutch skipper Gunnar Larssen (crewed by Ferdinand van West) is seen here putting in the smooth performance which saw him winning the worlds at his thirteenth attempt. Photo: W M Nixon
While all this excitement in racing boats with lids was building on the south coast in July, up north on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme the F18 Worlds were held for one of global sailing's most popular catamaran classes. Though the entry of 56 boats didn't match the 150-plus entries they get when the class has its worlds in its Mediterranean heartlands, the sailing was good and a popular winner emerged in longtime F18 sailor Gunnar Larsen, who is Dutch despite his Scandinavian name.
Dinghy attention was also very closely focused on Dublin Bay, with an enormous fleet of Optimists at the Europeans hosted by Royal St George YC from 12th to 20th July, and Dun Laoghaire really showing what it can do in being a major international regatta centre. France's Enzo Balanger was tops from Sweden's Kasper Nordenram, while best of the Irish in the Gold Division was Royal Cork's James McCann in tenth – not surprisingly, he was to go on to win the Nationals at his home club in August.
Nations from across Europe and beyond were at the Optimist Euros at Dun Laoghaire
Finn Lynch racing at Douarnenez in France where be became the new U19 Laser Standard world championPhoto: Trevor Millar/Sail Coach
On the broader international scene, former Opty stars Finn Lynch (National YC) and Seafra Guifoyle (Royal Cork) were to turn in outstanding results during 2014, with Guilfoyle firmly in the frame through the ISAF Youth Worlds in the Laser, eventually coming home from Tavira in Portugal with the Silver, while Finn Lynch was on top form to clinch the Gold in the Under 19 Laser Standard Worlds at Douarnenez in Brittany.
Back aboard the boats with lids, late July had brought the Commodore's Cup in the Solent, and if anyone out there doesn't know who won, we'd like to hear from them, as the state of total seclusion which this implies is surely something which could be packaged and marketed to our hyper-informed and over-crowded world. The comprehensive Irish victory just seems better and better with the passage of time, and for Anthony O'Leary it was the highlight of a fantastic season which in September was to see him win the Helmsman's Championship of Ireland (admittedly by just a whisker) in J/80s in Howth to set up a national double for Royal Cork, as young Harry Durcan of Crosshaven was winner of the Junior Helmsmans. O'Leary meanwhile went on to win the 1720 Nationals in Baltimore later that month, and then in November his beloved Antix was named RORC Yacht of the Year.
Antix in the Commodore's Cup, hanging in well coming to the weather mark to stay ahead of the newer Ker 40 Cutting Edge. Photo: Rick Tomlinson)
Even as Antix and her team mates were racing on towards glory in the Solent, in Clew Bay the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) were staging their annual championship at hospitable Mayo SC, and it saw a good spread of results, with the overall winner being Galway's Liam Burke with his Corby 25 Tribal, while the runner-up was the McGibneys' Dehler Optimum 101 Dis-a-Ray, which sails under the Foynes YC burgee, but her home port is Tarbert further west along the Shannon Estuary.
August was busy with events for enjoyment. Eighty boats raced in Calves Week in West Cork, which has now been compressed to a four day regatta which means, as one sage family man observed, that you can take a house in Schull for a week's holiday, and then just as the wife and kids are getting fed up with having the ould fella always about the place, doesn't he absolutely have to go off and spend the last four days of the holiday sailing with his mates? That one of the top boats was Colman Garvey's True Penance maybe says it all.
Calves Week 2014 entries were up 25% in 2014. Photo: Bob Bateman
The GP14 Worlds at East Down YC in Strangford Lough launched a hundred boats every day in smooth style. Photo: W M Nixon
The biggest dinghy event of all (other than the Laser Nationals, which as ever are in a league of their own) was the GP 14 Worlds in mid-August at East Down YC in Strangford Lough, which had its excitement in a sudden storm on the Monday, but it all turned out okay. Boats involved were just over the hundred mark, the best boats were built in Northern Ireland by Alistair Duffin, and winners were English crew of Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe from Burwain, while top Irish were John and Donal McGuinness of Moville in Donegal, they were sixth.
At the other end of the intensity scale, down in Howth they had their first cruiser-racer two-hander for the Aqua Restaurant Challenge. Despite very restrained pre-publicity, it attracted 34 boats for a race round Lambay and the Kish. Stephen O'Flaherty's elegant Spirit 54 Soufriere, fresh from a win in the Panerai Classics in Cowes and co-sailed by David Cagney, took line honours and almost won, but the vintage Humphreys Half Tonner Harmony (Peter Freyne and Jonny Swann) just pipped them at the end.
Sailed in summery weather, the new Howth two-handed was about as different as possible from another two-handed experience in August, that of Liam Coyne (NYC) and Brin Flahive (Wicklow) in the 1800 mile RORC Seven Star Round Britain and Ireland. They didn't have to be two-handed, there were fully crew boats involved including the 70ft–trimaran Musandam in which Ireland's Damian Foxall played a leading role in taking line honours in record time, but aboard the First 36.7 Lula Belle the Irish duo just toughed it out despite sailing the last 500 miles with virtually nothing functional, they simply decided to see it through, and to their amazement found they'd won Classes V & VI.
Lula Belle on her way out of the Solent with 1800 miles to race. Photo: Rick Tomlinson
Brian Flahive & Liam Coyne back in Dun Laoghaire on the morning of their return from the finish of the Round Britain & Ireland Race. Photo: W M Nixon
As for the Laser Nats, they were at the end of August and another Ballyholme event, with Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork winning from Rory Fekkes of the home club, while the radials saw Annalise Murphy keep her hand in with a win from Cork's Cian Byrne.
After some rugged August weather, particularly on Ireland's East Coast, September was utterly blissful and it sweetly rounded out Dublin Bay Sailing Club's 130th season, the birthday being marked by a fairly epic dinner in the National YC. September also saw the conclusion of the slowly but steadily reviving Irish Sea Offshore Racing programme, with the end-of-season race from Pwllheli to Dun Laoghaire seeing Liam Shanahan's J/109 Ruth confirmed as the overall winner of the series. Among locally campaigned dinghies, meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire's keen Fireball Class kept its annual programme in lively shape, and the season drew a close with Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella winning overall from Noel Butler and Stephen Oram.
ISORA Champion Ruth skippered by Liam Shanahan jnr from the National Yacht Club
Across country in Limerick, the CityOne dinghies and the traditional Shannon gandelows created in projects of the Ilen Boatbuilding School made their debut in the city centre on one of the last days of the Indian summer, and then they were put on display in a Naumachia in St Mary's Cathedral which was officially opened by Michael Noonan TD, and later formally visited by President Higgins.
The hopeful new spirit of Irish sailing in 2014 was evident in St Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, when the CityOne dinghies built by volunteers in an inner city revitalisation project went on display in a Naumachia in the Cathedral on September 26th, after their first regatta on the Shannon in the heart of Ireland's City of Culture 2014. With the boats in the cathedral were (left) Brother Anthony Keane of Glenstal Abbey (Director, the Ilen School), Limerick's senior TD and Ireland's Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, and Gary MacMahon (right) Director of the Ilen School & Network for Wooden Boatbuilding. Photo: Press22
And then more vigorous winds returned in October, with the Freshwater Keelboat event on Lough Derg – originally just an exclusive Dragon thing – finding itself swamped with sixty and more boats from five classes and increasingly rugged conditions, such that only the Dragons and Squibs managed to get in any meaningful racing, with Neil Hegarty (RStGYC) winning the Dragons while James Matthews and Rob Jacob of Kinsale topped the Squibs.
Dragons in Autumn action on Lough Derg – Neil Hegarty (right) was overall winner from runner-up Richard Goodbody (left) Photo: Gareth Craig
Squibs on Lough Derg – it may look like perfect sailing, but the top came off the weather very soon afterwads. Photo: Gareth Craig
The Student Yachting Worlds in La Rochelle in October had some hiccups in UCD's campaign for Ireland, but while they very narrowly missed the podium in a truly international event, they stayed put at fourth overall. And round in the Mediterranean, a record fleet for the Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta saw entries soar through the 120 mark for the first time, and the 606 mile race had its first half in light breezes, but the second half was in pure Mistral, with people talking of "winds easing to 44 knots....." A Maltese-owned J/122 won, but second overall and first in her class was the Xp44 XpAct (Josef Schultheis) with a strong Irish emphasis in her crew including Barry Hurley, Andy Boyle, Kenny Rumball and Phillip Connor.
Soon afterwards, the Volvo World Race got under way with first stage from the Med to Cape Town, and Ireland's Justin Slattery on the winning boat on Leg 1. Back home, Autumn leagues had seen renewed enthusiasm as though people had suddenly re-discovered their sport, and the great sailing year of 2014 drew towards its close with the Lasers in Howth starting their 40th winter of annual frostbite racing. This means that HYC have now had a continuous sailing programme since April 1974, while across in Dun Laoghaire the DMYC Frostbite Series must be the most senior of all winter events. Winter Leagues attract more aficionados, with the popularity of the Dublin Bay Turkey Shoot in particular providing a forceful reminder that Dun Laoghaire is the principal sea access for a notably affluent and very large population in South Dublin. With the Turkey on its way, soon it's Christmas. And then the new Irish sailing season will begin on the blue waters of Sydney Harbour.
Justin Slattery on Volvo World Race 2014. Photo: Volvo Ocean Race
#volvocorkweek – Volvo Cork Week is over for another two years and a very enthusiastic gathering took place last night at the Royal Cork Yacht Club for the presentation of the prizes and trophies writes Claire Bateman. Master of Ceremonies for the night was Chair of Volvo Cork Week and RCYC Vice Admiral John Roche.
Adrian Yeates, Managing Director Volvo Car Ireland spoke of their satisfaction with the event and the excellent competition and general good week enjoyed by all the competitors. He was followed by Admiral Pat Lyons who expressed the great satisfaction felt by the club at the excellent week enjoyed by all the visitors and local sailors alike. Then it was time for the presentation of prizes and trophies. Eddie English announced all the winners who received great applause and the prizes were presented by the Lady Admiral Ann Lyons.
The big winner of the event, Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling's Quokka, took first place in IRC 2, winner of the Hugh Coveney Cup as champion of the Harbour Race in which the entire fleet competed and also won the Kinsale Kettle for best overall performance as yacht of the week. The Prix d'Elegance for the most yacht present at the regatta was awarded to Richard Matthews' magnificent 125ft. Twilight while the Sisk Corinthian Cup for the most successful yacht with an entire crew of Category One sailors was presented to Tom McNeice in his Sigma 33 Minx. The trophy representing the best spirit of the event was awarded to David Wilkins in Goose Pimples.
Volvo Cork Week Overall winners were as follows:
IRC 1: Catapult, Marc Glimcher
IRC 2: Quokka 8, Niall Dowling and Michael Voyd
IRC 3: Storm, Pat Kelly
IRC 4: Insatiable, Tom Cunliffe
IRC 5: Bandit, Kieran O'Connell ad Graham Marron
Qtr.Ton:Illes Pitiuses, Jason and Dominic Losty
1: Spiced Beef, Robin and Ben O'Mahony
Non Spinnaker One:
1: Foxtrot, Hillary Davies
Non Spinnaker Two:
1: Minx 111, Tom McNeice
Additonal reporting by Louay Habib
Volvo Cork Week Final Report
Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on' and The Stranglers 'Something better change' rang out over the air waves as the Volvo Cork Week fleet waited for the breeze to set in for the final day of racing. However, the wind was sufficient to allow for a full racing programme to decide the winners for the regatta. Performing well in light winds requires concentration, perfect boat handling skills and tactical acumen. The teams that mastered these factors reaped the rewards. Volvo Cork Week featured the entire Irish team for this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup and all three yachts had magnificent results.
Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) was the clear winner of IRC Two, winning seven of the eight races sailed and was awarded The Kinsale Kettle for Yacht of the Week and the Hugh Coveney Trophy as the overall winner of the Cork Harbour Race. Quokka along with Catapult and Antix will be representing Ireland in this month's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Only a broken spinnaker pole in Race 4 prevented Quokka from a perfect scoreline at Volvo Cork Week. Racing with IRC One meant that Quokka was always having to deal with boat on boat factors with faster yachts, even though Quokka was able to show a clean pair of heels to their own class, the teams achievement in a production yachts against world class opposition in racing yachts was impeccable.Michael Boyd led his team up to collect the Kinsale Kettle having already received the Hugh Coveney Trophy.
"Hugh was a legendary sailor for my generation, I feel very honoured to be presented with the trophy bearing his name, especially as his son Andrew presented it." commented Michael Boyd, visbily moved by emotions. "Hugh will always be highly respected all over Ireland and overseas and leaves behind him a tremendous family. Hugh Coveney was an exceptional sailor and a great man - a legend of my generation. Winning the Kinsale Kettle is fantastic. The team on Quokka has put in a tremendous amount of hard work to win at Volvo Cork Week and our moral is high, we will do our best to win the Commodores' Cup back for Ireland."
Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was the victor in IRC One. The crew work was slick and the tactical calls from local Olympian, Peter O'Leary, kept the bright red hull at the front of the fleet, taking Line Honours in every race bar one boding well for the fastest yacht in the Irish Team for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Catapult's Boat Captain, Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA, was at the helm of the yacht and highlighted starts as an important aspect of the team's success. "With an even start line, coming in on Port tack, you are looking for a gap to tack into where you have enough space to be able to move the bow as you like but not so big that a competitor comes in and tacks under you. With light airs and current it normally pays to get up from the tide but the race course here has shifts that are just as important, even though we didn't have big breeze the racing was excellent."
IRC One featured a tremendous battle for the podium with three boats just a point a part going into the final race. Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta in style winning the last two races to take second place in IRC One with Andy Williams' Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) third on countback from Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).
Quokka was the clear winner of IRC Two winning seven of the eight races sailed. As with the big boat class, a close battle developed for the podium. Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) took second place in the last race, to take runner up for the class, with Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) taking third by just a point from Findlay & Anderson's Xp38, Roxstar (Clyde CC).
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) had a shaky start to racing on the final day, placing 12th but 2nd place in the last race secured the all Irish team the class win. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) was second and Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was third.
In IRC Four the winner was Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC). The vintage half tonner was beautifully restored at Pendennis Shipyard in Cornwall. The Cornish team scored podium finishes in every race to win the class by ten points. Paul & Deirdre Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) was second. Team Foyne's X-332, Dexterity finished the regatta in fine style, winning the last race by just 24 seconds, to tie on points with Alpaca, but after countback Dexterity was third.
In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC), was the resounding winner with nine straight bullets to the boys from Cobh, a fantastic achievement. However, the formula for calculating the overall winner meant that Quokka was awarded the Kinsale Kettle. Diarmuid Foley's Quarter Tonner, Anchor Challenge (Royal Cork YC) finished the regatta with two second places on the last day to take runner up for IRC Five. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) was third.
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef (Royal Cork YC) scored six bullets out of nine races to win the pocket rocket class. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack (Royal Cork YC) was second by just a point from Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No (Royal Thames YC).
In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot has had an outstanding regatta, winning four out of six races to win the class. John Downing's Samba was second with Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension third.
Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won the last race to win IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, Upstart was second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third. Yesterday, Upstart damaged their head sail but in a show of corinthian spirit, which is the heart and soul of Volvo Cork Week, Tom McNeice lent their competitor a spare to allow them to compete fairly in the last race.
Volvo Cork Week Racing Chairman, Anthony O'Leary was quick to praise both the race management team and the staff of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. "To conduct such magnificent races in difficult conditions was highly commendable, congratulations should go to the Race Officers, Jack Roy, Robert Lamb and Peter Crowley and all of the management team out on the water. The Royal Cork Yacht Club has welcomed competitors to the club with open arms and Gavin Deane, all of the staff and volunteers, have worked tirelessly to make sure the competitors have had a memorable time. That result is ably assisted by good race management, sailors coming off the water happy are much easier to please at the bar!"
Adrian Yeates, Managing director of Volvo Car Ireland, was on hand to open the awards ceremony for the 2014 Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving Ceremony on the lawn at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. compered by Eddie English, with speeches from John Roche, Chairman of Volvo Cork Week and Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral, Pat Lyons.
The Volvo Cork Week Prize Giving was well attended, the music and the drinks were flowing long into the night. Souldriven playing live at the Volvo Cork Week Marquee followed by DJ - Bar with a bar extension until 2.00am! The legendary Craic of Cork Week went on long into the night.
#corkweek – Unsettled weather provided changeable conditions for the third day of racing at Volvo Cork Week writes Louay Habib. The day started with bright sunshine and balmy conditions, causing a short postponement for many classes and light rain (honestly!) and a stiffer breeze was encountered during the day. With many classes now completing six races, the discard has kicked in and front runners have become more apparent. What is plainly obvious from the results is races and places are being contested by seconds. Volvo Cork Week is providing exciting, close racing and ashore the craic is the same as ever.
Fleet A, composing of the fastest racer cruisers, competing in IRC One and IRC Two took on the Windward Leeward Course, which was 3 miles south east of Roches Point. Once a northerly breeze had settled, the fleet got a clean start in Race 5 racing upwind towards the shoreline. The breeze was light and the first leg proved to be crucial. Peter O'Leary was calling tactics today on Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC). "We crossed the line on starboard tack and tacked as soon as we could to head for the area of pressure on the right hand side of the course. The race was all about finding that extra pressure to get ahead of the fleet and into clear air."
Peter's brother Nicholas O'Leary is tactician on Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC). "Mark Mansfield on the wheel and myself were in total agreement that the right would pay" commented Nicholas. "We had both seen this scenario in the 1720 Nationals and it was clear to us."
Catapult scored their fourth win in a row in Race 5 and ended the day leading IRC One for the series by six points. Andy Williams' Ker 40, (Yealm YC) won Race 6, to move into second position on countback, from Richard Matthews Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC).
Quokka were unstoppable today, winning both of today's races to open up an 8.5 point gap for the series in IRC Two. Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) is still in second place but a solid performance by Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) has lifted the team up to third.
Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Olympic Course, near Roches Point. with over 40 yachts racing on a tight triangular course.
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) still leads the class after an intense battle. Robert McConnell's, A35, Fools Gold was the winner in Race 5. The intensity of the combat was evident by the top four yachts were only separated by an astonishing 12 seconds. Last year's class champion, Ian Nagle's J/109, Jelly Baby (Royal Cork YC) was the winner of Race 6 by just 23 seconds from Storm. However, the Kelly family racing Storm, finished the day on top by winning the last race of the day.
"The Olympic Course is a real test, especially the gybe mark, where yachts are converging for a manoeuvre all at the same time. Just a few seconds can make the difference between first and fifth." Explained Joss Walsh, trimmer on Storm. "The overall game plan was to keep with the yachts around us and try and compete with them for speed and avoid errors, which would be very costly. Pat Kelly has four sons on board, Storm is a real family boat but we are quite a heavy crew, which has made racing difficult in light conditions. We are all here to enjoy very competitive racing and a few pints at the club afterwards. We are here to win but having fun is just as important."
Former ICRA National Champion Storm leads IRC 3. Photo: Bob Bateman
Storm leads IRC Three by 10.5 points points from Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC). Jelly Baby is just half a point behind Rockabill V in third.
In IRC Four, Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) is the new leader having scored a 1,2,3 in today's three races. Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) has dropped to second place after struggling on today's Olympic Course. Peter Deasy's Bad Company (Royal Cork YC) had their best day so far, scoring a 4th and a win to move up to third in class. Ronan Fenton's J/35, Sky Hunter (Blackwater SC) finished the day in style, taking their first win of the regatta in Race 7.
Dave Lane and Sinead Enright's YaGottaWanna. Photo: Bob Bateman
In IRC Five, it is now six straight bullets to the boys from Cobh. Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises (Cobh SC). However, the team have had to fight for their supremacy, winning Race 5 by 6 seconds and Race 6 by 35 seconds. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day to have a solid position in second place for the series. Frank O'Regan's Orient Express (Cobh SC) is the smallest keel boat at the regatta and lies third, just one point ahead of Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna (Royal Cork YC).
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class after scoring a third and a race win today but two yachts came into the running with excellent results today. Julian Cook's Viper 640, Oh No, won the first two races putting pressure on Spice Beef but a fifth in the last race means that Spiced Beef have a five point lead for the series. Denis Murphy's 1720, Aquatack scored three second places today to move up to third for the class, just a point behind Oh No.
Lenny Donnery's No Knomes. Photo: Bob Bateman
In IRC One White Sail, George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot had an outstanding day in Cork Harbour, winning both of today's races to become the new class leader. John Downing's Samba drops to second place, just two points off the lead. Peter O'Donovan's X-372, X Tension scored a second and third place today to move up to third for the class.
Tom McNeice's Sigma 33, Minx III won both of today's races to open up a three point lead in in IRC Two White Sail. David Borry Crockett's Sigma 33, is second with Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis in third.
Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes, traditional Bag Pipes from Sessiun Ceol followed by DJ Fadd Jnr, mixing the tunes after 10pm. Racing continues tomorrow, full results available here
Ted Crosbie at the tiller of No Excuse. Photo: Bob Bateman
#corkweek – The fast high performance yachts racing at Volvo Cork Week enjoyed the unique Slalom Course today, the triangular course has an offset mark which forces the crew to gybe half way down the reaching leg, providing high octane maneuvres in close quarters with other yachts.
Marc Glimcher's American Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) was launched on the Slalom Course today, scoring three straight bullets. Catapult's crew include, Royal Cork's Harry Durcan, the teenage national Optimist Champion, who was beaming from ear to ear. However it was far from easy for Catapult, which will be representing Ireland in the forthcoming Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup. Each race was won by just seconds with three high performance yachts pushing hard; Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC), Andy Williams British Ker 40, Keronimo (Yealm YC) and Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC).
"That is the first time I have raced on a slalom course although it is an idea we have thought about back home in Maryland." Commented Catapult's Geoff Ewenson from Annapolis USA. "Conventional windward lewards are more tactical but this course is all about speed, boat handling and sail selection, which is more akin to modern yachts flying asymmetric sails and it is a very exciting discipline. We were by no means faultless today but we have got to be happy with our results and racing a new course set up was very refreshing, something we all enjoyed."
In IRC Two, Michael Boyd's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) had another great day. Quokka won the first two race but dropped to fourth for the last race of the day. After four races, Quokka has a slender lead for the class from Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC). Conor Phelan's Ker 37, Jump Juice (Royal Cork YC) had a consistent day resulting in third place by the close of play. The intensity of the racing in IRC Two produced a tie for second place in the first of today's three races between Jump Juice and Dark Angel.
Fleet B, consisting of IRC 3, IRC 4, IRC 5 and the Sportsboat Class enjoyed three races on the Windward Leeward Course, three miles south east of Roches Point.Warm sunshine and stable conditions prevailed,with blue skies and fresh breeze coming off the land to provide a perfect classic race track.
In IRC Three, Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (Rush YC) was in impressive form scoring a win and a second in today's races to open up an 8.5 point lead at the top of the class. Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V, (Royal Irish YC) sailed consistently well today to move up to second in class. Robert McConnell's A35, Fools Gold (Waterford Harbour SC) is third.
In IRC Four, Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC) had a great day scoring two wins and a second, to climb to the top of the class. Tim Cunliffe's Half Tonner, Insatiable (Royal Cornish YC) finished the day in style with a win, to place the Cornishmen just two points off the lead. Ronan Lyden's Corby 25, Aurora (Royal Cork YC) scored two second places today to move up to third.
"Champagne sailing!" smiled Paul Tingle, skipper of Alpaca. "12 knots of breeze, a great course and really competitive racing. I just love Cork Week and today was a very special day to be out on the water. The Corby 25 is a step-up for us this season and she is a far more physical boat that we are used to, so in the last race, we were a little tired and let or concentration lapse but what a day! We are off for a crew dinner and can't wait to get going in the morning."
In IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises had another cracking day, to win all three races and have the only perfect scoreline of the 100 yachts competing at Volvo Cork Week. Last month, Illes Pitiuises won the Corinthian Division of the Quarter Ton Cup in Cowes and look like they have brought that scintillating form with them to Volvo Cork Week. Kieran O'Connell's Quarter Tonner, Bandit had a good day on the water, moving the team up to second place above Lane & Enright's J/24, Yagottawanna. Dermott Foley's Anchor Challenge and Frank O'Regan's Orient Express posted good results today on the windward leeward course.
In the Sportsboat Class Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef still leads the class, having scored two first places today. Mike Relling's Viper 640, Viper scored their first bullet of the regatta to keep hold of second place, but by only one point, from Jimmy Nyhan's 1720, Salve racing.
John Downing's Samba leads White Sail IRC One by just two points, after winning the first of two races today. Sailed along the stunning coastline west of Cork Harbour the fleet enjoyed spectacular views in bright sunshine and a moderate breeze. George Pettifor's Beneteau 36.7, Foxtrot won the second race of the day to lift the team to second for the class. Whilst, Bryan Heffernan's Dufour 365, Aisling scored a second and a third to place third after three races. The Heffernan Family include two members in their 70s, who could not race in the spinnaker classes, a prime example of why the White Sail class is included at Volvo Cork Week.
Tom McNeice's Minx III and David Borry Crockett's Upstart are both Sigma 33S and the two yachts are enjoying incredibly close racing. Only six seconds seperated the two yachts in today's first race. Minx III and Upstart are currently tied for the lead in White Sail IRC Two. Pat Vaughan's Contessa 33, Aramis is third and a win in today's first race has lifted Clive Doherty's GK29, Phaeton to fourth.
Tonight's entertainment at the Royal Cork Yacht Club Event Village includes; Samba Corcaigh Walking. Who are afloat, playing Samba drums around the pontoons. Brazil made be out of the World Cup but the party is still very much going on at Volvo Cork Week! Racing continues tomorrow,
Full results here
#corkweek – Thrilling conditions welcomed an international fleet of yachts from all over Europe and the United States to Volvo Cork Week. 100 yachts racing in Cork Harbour produced a magnificent spectacle writes Louay Habib. Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world and provides stunning scenery and tricky wind and tidal conditions. The gusty north easterly breeze tested the boat handling skills of the international fleet, with several yachts reporting a boat speed of up to 20 knots on the surf.
The first race of Volvo Cork Week started just outside Roches Point, the wind speed piped up to 17 knots with a short sea state. The beat into Cork Harbour had the fleet swapping tacks past Spike Island, before negotiating close tight reaching legs along the picturesque town of Cobh. For many it was a race of over three hours, before returning to the Royal Cork Yacht Club to enjoy the full facilities of the exclusive race village.
Michael Boyd racing Grand Soleil 43, Quokka (Royal Irish YC) had an outstanding race, winning IRC Two by a landslide 15 minutes on corrected time. Tony Ackland's Dubois 37, Dark Angel (Swansea YSC) was second in IRC Two, just seven seconds ahead of Jim Macgregor's Elan 410, Premier Flair (Poole YC), which made an impressive comeback after starting prematurely.
For Volvo Cork Week, Mark Mansfield (Royal Cork YC) is at the helm of Quokka. Mark sailed at four consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2004, for Ireland, in the International Star Class.
"We got a great start, there was a wind shift just before the gun, which favoured the pin end and we had a nice approach and tacked soon after into clear air." Explained Mark. "The wind speed was up and so was the sea state and Quokka just loves those sort of conditions. Heavier than the Ker 40s, she goes well through the waves but downwind Quokka doesn't plane, so the Ker 40s got away. The crew work today was very good, especially after some last minutes calls; it's obvious that this team has been training well together for the Commodores' Cup."
Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39, Antix (Royal Cork YC) started well and played the current and the wind acceleration through Roches Point to lead on corrected time at the top mark off Cobh. Marc Glimcher's Ker 40, Catapult (Baltimore SC) helmed by Royal Cork's Olympian Peter O'Leary, took Line Honours by 27 seconds from Richard Matthews' Hakes 42, Oystercatcher XXX (Royal Burnham YC) . However, after time correction, Antix won the class by less than a minute from Catapult with Andy Williams' Devon based, Ker 40, Keronimo in third.
Victory in IRC Three went to Pat Kelly's J/109, Storm (XXYC). Paul O'Higgins Corby 33, Rockabill V took line honours but after time correction Storm won by nearly three minutes from Robert McConnell's A35, Fools Gold with Rockabill V third.
The IRC Four Class winner for 2012 was in fine form today. former Royal Cork YC Admiral, Peter Deasy driving Bad Company scored a slender win from Paul Tingle's Corby 25, Alpaca (Royal Cork YC). Tim Cunliffe and his team from Falmouth, racing Half Tonner, Insatiable was third.
Bad Company won by just 49 seconds on corrected time. "Beautiful conditions and a really competitive race, what a great start to Volvo Cork Week." Smiled Peter Deasy. "We are delighted to see Insatiable back, we had a great battle with them last time and Paul's new boat, Alpaca, is sailing very well indeed, so we will have to be at our best to win this class."
It was a long day on the water in IRC Five, Jason & Domonic Losty's Quarter Tonner, Illes Pitiuises was the winner by just under five minutes from Dave Lane & Sinead Enright's J/24, YaGottaWanna. Christine Willis's Westerly Fulmar, Rodmar was one of the last yachts to finish today, after over four hours of racing, the team from Aberaeron SC showed great tenacity taking third in class after time correction.
In White Sail IRC One, Bryan Hefferan's Dufour 36, Aisling (Royal Cork YC) took Line Honours and the class win on corrected time from John Downing's Sunfast 32, Samba. Peter O'Donavan's X-372, Xtension (Royal Cork YC) was third.
In the Sportsboat Class, Robin & Ben O'Mahony's 1720, Spiced Beef was the winner with Mike Relling's Viper 640, Viper taking second place and David Pitman's Viper 640, The Black Adder was third. Viper could have won the first race but for a navigational error. "We over stood a mark, which cost us the lead and ultimately the race." Admitted Viper's skipper, Mike Relling. "We had a real blast though, hitting 19 knots on the reach and it has been great to race against the 1720s. They definitely have us upwind but downwind the Viper is much quicker, so we expect a regatta-game of snakes and ladders, pardon the pun!" David Pitman's Viper 640, The Black Adder was third.
After racing, hundreds of competitors enjoyed a few glasses at the Royal Cork Yachjt Club with live entertainment. The SLAM Crew Games kick off tonight in the Marquee with a giant screen showing the FIFA World Cup Semi-Final between Brazil and Germany. Racing continues at Volvo Cork Week tomorrow Wednesday 8th July, with the international fleet enjoying a variety of courses both inside and outside of Cork Harbour.
For full results here
#corkweek – Crosshaven sparkled both on and off the water yesterday as all is in readiness for the official start of racing today at Volvo Cork Week 2014 writes Claire Bateman.
The aura of goodwill and smiling faces was in evidence everywhere in Crosshaven today. The Royal Cork Yacht Club was buzzing with last minute registrations of yachts still arriving, the sun shone non stop and there was a delightful summer breeze wafting around to keep the crews on the water.
Many of the yachts, particularly the visitors, took the opportunity to make an observance trip of the harbour both inside and out while others decided to take part in the practice races organized by the Race Committee and to iron out an last minute glitches in their final preparations.
Make no mistake, it is all very pleasant and amicable with a wonderful spirit of camaraderie but, just like any other sport, once the start is underway the competition comes into play.
With a good forecast for today of some 11 to 16 knots of nor westerly breeze conditions should be perfect for the in harbour race that takes the yachts up to a turning mark of Cobh and is a favourite viewing point with the general public. Given the forecast, the yachts may yet get to experience what is known as the "cathedral puff" a wind that may get deflected around the spire with sometimes interesting results!
It only remains to wish the best of luck to all competitors for a wonderful week of racing and to enjoy the extensive shoreside facilities organized for the week.
#CorkWeek – With a fleet of just over 100 boats, yesterday's official opening of Volvo Cork Week at Royal Cork Yacht Club was a proper parade of sail as the competitors readied their vessels for the days of racing ahead.
Members of the public turned out in droves to see the boats and enjoy the festivities of Sunday's open day, including fun fair rides and an open-top bus shuttle between the Royal Cork and Camden Fort Meagher taking in the breathtaking vistas of Cork Harbour.
Later came the official opening of Volvo Cork Week by Marine Minister Simon Coveney, together with VCW chair and club vice admiral John Roche and admiral Pat Lyons.
But Cork Week is about the action on the water, and it got off to a rapid start yesterday morning with the PYR Race Dash for Cash, which boasted a prize fund of €1,000.
The tightly fought battle saw Peter McCann with crew Arran Walsh, sailing a 420, emerge victorious to take the first prize of €500.00.
They were followed in second and third place respectively by John Downey and Sandy Remmington, and Alex Barry and Richard Leonard, both sailing RS400s.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it's set to be a challenging yet rewarding week ahead across the fleets, and particularly so in the big boat class as several Ker 40s will be gunning for new British IRC Nationals champion Antix.